Saint Paul Public Schools Increase Diversity of Building Leaders

By Kevin Burns










Saint Paul Public Schools (SPPS) has announced it has hired 12 new Principals and 19 Assistant Principals for the 2020-21 school year. The majority of those leaders are people of color. These selections reflect the District’s work to create learning environments in which racial and ethnic identity is valued and contributes to successful academic outcomes.

“Two-thirds of our new Principals are people of color, including one of the first Principals of Somali descent in Minnesota, and perhaps in the nation. In addition, all three open Principal positions in our high schools have been filled by persons of color,” says SPPS Superintendent Dr. Joe Gothard. “These deliberate efforts, consistent with our strategic plan, SPPS Achieves, are strides I am very proud of. I am committed to further increasing the diversity of our leaders and our educators.” 

Of the 12 new Principals for the upcoming school year; four are Hmong, four are caucasian, three are African American and one is Somali. In addition, of the 19 new Assistant Principals; five are African American, eight are Caucasian, two are Somali, one is Hmong, one is native American, one is Latina and one is Karen.

“We are going to continue changing how SPPS looks, feels and leads,” says Dr. Gothard. “We are going to do this because our practices must break the patterns of systems that have led to predictable outcomes.”

Saint Paul Public Schools is the most diverse district in Minnesota, with approximately 37,000 students and more than 5,700 full time employees. It has more than 60 school buildings offering classes for PreK through grade 12.

“I believe it’s important that leaders and educators reflect the students in our classrooms and the people in our community,” says Dr. Gothard. “By creating learning environments that enable students and staff to show up as their authentic selves, I believe we can close achievement gaps and best prepare our young people for college, career and life.”